UK insurer Prudential Plc (PUK: Quote,PRU.L) Friday reported a higher profit for the first half, helped by improved performance in Asia and the U.S. The company said its Asia business continues to drive profitable growth, with strong cash remittances from all businesses.
Prudential also declared a higher dividend and said it remains confident in its ability to grow earnings over the long-term, despite the challenging macro-economic conditions.
Tidjane Thiam, Group chief executive stated, "Prudential has produced a strong performance across our key financial metrics during the first six months of 2012 - IFRS, NBP and cash, despite the considerable global macroeconomic challenges."
Total income from Asia operations increased to 440 million pounds from 365 million pounds in the prior year. Asia operating profit grew 21 percent and new business profit climbed 18 percent from a year ago. Cash contribution to the Group from Asia was 126 million pounds, up 20 percent from the prior year.
In the U.S., income from Jackson National Life Insurance Co., was 442 million pounds, up from 340 million pounds a year earlier. Total UK insurance operations posted an income of 353 million pounds, unchanged from last year. Total Group life APE new business sales improved 11 percent to 2.03 billion pounds.
In asset management, M&G had net inflows of 4.9 billion pounds.
In the first half, profit before tax attributable to shareholders increased to 1.26 billion pounds from 1.11 billion pounds in the previous year. On a per share basis, earnings were 37.5 pence, higher than 32.6 pence per share a year ago.
Operating profit was 1.16 billion pounds, up 13 percent from last year with operating earnings per share rising to 34.5 pence from 31.4 pence a year before. Asia life insurance business operating profit increased 26 percent from last year.
The company said it has adopted altered US GAAP reporting requirements on a retrospective basis to the results of Jackson and four Asia operations and has adjusted the half year and full 2011 comparatives.
Total revenue, net of reinsurance, for the half year was 23.88 billion pounds, compared with 21.60 billion pounds in the year-ago period.
The board approved an interim dividend of 8.4 pence per share, up 5.7 percent from last year, to shareholders of record on August 24, 2012, payable on September 27.
In London, Prudential shares are currently trading at 800.02 pence, down 3.98 pence or 0.5 percent, on a volume of 2.57 million shares.
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by RTT Staff Writer
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